Kasey Kahne, driver of the #4 Red Bull Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2011 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kasey Kahne snaps streak, while Chase stays the same

For the past few weeks, the talk has been about Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart battle for first place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but Kasey Kahne crashed the party today with his victory at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kahne, whose last win was Atlanta 2009, took the lead with 14 laps to go and never looked back.

Current points leader, Carl Edwards finished second to leave Phoenix with a three point lead over Tony Stewart heading into the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

This was Kahne’s next to last race with Red Bull Racing as he will be taking over the No. 5 for Mark Martin at Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. It has been said that Red Bull Racing will no longer be apart of NASCAR after Homestead-Miami next weekend.

Matt Kenseth, who started on the pole for the race,  had a strong car for most of the race until he was wrecked by Kahne’s Red Bull teammate, Brian Vickers. Vickers put him in the wall in an apparent retaliation for an incident at Martinsville two weeks prior.

NASCAR, which parked Kyle Busch last week for a flagrant wreck of Ron Hornaday under caution, took no action against Vickers during the race. NASCAR senior vice president Steve O’Donnell tweeted that “we saw incident differently.”

Kenseth told ESPN that Vickers had been saying for weeks that he would wreck him. Kenseth said what Vickers did was just as flagrant as what Busch did and NASCAR should take similar punative measures. Vickers denied that he intentionally wrecked Kenseth.

It’s just devastating,” Busch said. “To go through turmoil like this, all you can do is group together and pull through it and try to persevere and move on.”

Busch, who started the Chase tied with Kevin Harvick as the top seed, will almost certainly finish 12th in the final standings and won’t be included in the season-ending awards ceremony held in his hometown, Las Vegas.

Speaking of Kyle Busch, who is racing again after being parked by NASCAR at Texas, worked his way up to third before his engine failed. He would finish 36th.

“It’s just devastating,” Busch said. “To go through turmoil like this, all you can do is group together and pull through it and try to persevere and move on.”

Busch, who started the Chase tied with Kevin Harvick as the top seed, will almost certainly finish 12th in the final standings and won’t be included in the awards cermony held in Las Vegas, his hometown.

This was a brand new car for Kasey Kahne. Who said in the Media Center that he believes he can win next weekend at Homestead-Miami to give Red Bull Racing one more win next weekend.

With the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coming to a close, the big question on everyone’s mind is Carl Edwards or Tony Stewart? Who do you think will win the 2011 Championship? As for me, I am going with Carl Edwards.

Unofficial Results: 

1. Kasey Kahne
2. Carl Edwards
3. Tony Stewart
4. Jeff Burton
5. Ryan Newman
6. AJ Allmendinger
7. David Reuitimann
8. Marcos Ambrose
9. Paul Menard
10. Clint Bowyer
11. Joey Logano
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Greg Biffle
14. Jimmie Johnson
15. Juan Pablo Montoya
16. Mark Martin
17. Jamie McMurray
18. Brad Keselowski
19. Kevin Harvick
20. Martin Truex, Jr
21. Bobby Labonte
22. Kurt Busch
23. Brian Vickers
24. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
25. Cole Whitt
26. Casey Mears
27. Dave Blaney
28. JJ Yeley
29. Landon Cassill
30. Mike Bliss
31. David Gililland
32. Jeff Gordon
33. David Ragan
34. Matt Kenseth
35. Robby Gordon
36. Kyle Busch
37. Geoffrey Bodine
38. Regan Smith
39. Scott Speed
40. Michael McDowell
41. Joe Nemecheck
42. Mike Skinner
43. Travis Kvapil

Tags: Carl Edwards Kasey Kahne NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix International Raceway Tony Stewart

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